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General News of Saturday, 14 August 2021

Source: theheraldghana.com

Consumer Protection Agency takes on telcos over poor services, blames Ursula Owusu and NCA

Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA), is angry over what it describes as poor service delivery by telcos in the country, a development which is now worsening.

According to the CPA, aside from the poor network, there have been complaints of high cost of data, unsolicited messages, promotions and adverts received from consumers about how the telcos, have been harassing them in recent times.

Among others, the CPA, said failure by the regulator – National Communications Authority (NCA) as well as the Minister of Communications to take actions against the telcos on behalf of consumers, they would initiate a petition to boycott the telcos and call on Ghanaians to switch off their phones in protest.

In a statement sent to The Herald, the CPA said, "the CPA would like to call the attention of the minister of communications and the NCA about the very poor services by the telcos in recent times.

The CPA was of the view that with new technology available to Ghana, services by the telcos could have been improved by now but rather it is getting worse in the country.

The CPA has received numerous complaints from consumers of the telcos about the various challenges they are facing to mention a few; The high cost of data, Unsolicited promotions & adverts and Poor network".

According to the Consumer Protection Agency, "As you recalled when the CPA encouraged Ghanaians to switch off their phones in protest some years ago, CPA will not hesitate to call on Ghanaian to sign a petition and embark on a boycott again."

They also charged the NCA to caution the betting companies including the National Lottery Authority (NLA) to desist from sending any such unsolicited messages to mobile phone users.

"We are also asking the NCA to take action against the betting companies (NLA) with their unsolicited messages," the statement added.

Below Is the Full Statement:

PRESS STATEMENT ON POOR SERVICES BY THE TELCOS.

The CPA would like to call the attention of the minister of communications and the NCA about the very poor services by the telcos in recent time. The CPA was with the view that with new technology available to Ghana, services by the telcos could have been improved by now but rather it is getting worse in the country. The CPA has received numerous complaints from consumers of the telcos about the various challenges they are facing to mention a few,

1. The high cost of data

2. Unsolicited promotions & adverts

3. Poor network

NCA used to conduct a very important test known as the QOS (quality of service parameters), they have four areas that went into this testing

1. Speech quality or mean opinion Score -it is the measurement of voice quality that has been used in telephony for decades as a way of assessing the human user's opinion of call quality. The test is widely to ensure quality voice transmission, test for quality issues and measures voice degradation and performance.

2. Call setup time (CST) – call set up time is the length of time it takes from initiating a call to the time the call is delivered or the fraction of the attempts end with a connection to the dialed number. Call setup time thus, measuring this fraction as a percentage of all call attempts.

3. Call congestion rate (CCR)- it is the ease or difficulty with which a consumer is able to get a call through their service provider's network system. This measurement of the frequency of call congestion is termed as call congestion rate.

4. Call Drop Rate (CDR) it is the frequency in which a consumer's on-going call is cut off or disconnected without their permission or knowledge. the measurement of the frequency of call drops is termed as Call Drop Rates.

5. Stand Alone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH) Congestion Rate- It is the frequency of a consumer's inability to access a provider's network for other services such as transmission of data(texting). The measurement of the frequency is termed as Stand-Alone Dedicated Control Channel Congestion rate.

Without this important QOS by the NCA, it will be difficult to know which of the telcos is giving bad services to the consumer.

The CPA is aware of some telcos and some providers in the industry not being able to use or max-up the spectrum assigned to them whiles other telcos has maxed-up their spectrum and needs more spectrum for them to provide quality service to consumers. We are therefore asking the minister to take a look as to how to make it possible for the telcos that need more spectrum.

There's been an instance where a mother lost a daughter because of unsolicited promotions and adverts. She didn't want to be bothered by these unsolicited messages at night and unfortunately it was her daughter who sent a text message in an emergency.

The NCA is aware of the companies behind this exercise. The Controller & Accountant General should also be told not to give out information of government workers to third parties about pay-day loans and bombarding them with household equipments for sale. It is illegal for any entity to give out information about any individual without their consent.

We are also asking the NCA to take action against the betting companies (NLA) with their unsolicited messages.

As you recalled when the CPA encouraged Ghanaians to switch off their phones in protest some years ago, CPA will not hesitate to call on Ghanaian to sign a petition and embark on a boycott again.

We believe the Honourable Minister of Communication would ask the NCA to take action against any telco on behalf of consumers.

Thank you.

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